Savings Tips

Crossmaglen Credit Union

Save money by rigorously looking at costly expenses that may go unnoticed

Savings Tips

Crossmaglen Credit Union

Save money by rigorously looking at costly expenses that may go unnoticed

It’s officially 2022 and we all have ambitious saving goals for the new year.

As we all deal with the mental and physical stress of lockdowns from the Coronavirus pandemic, many of us will also face additional financial stress struggling to save money to achieve our future goals or just to merely survive these difficult circumstances. Some may be saving for a mortgage to buy their first home,  others may be saving to send their child (or themselves) to college. Whatever your goals, making simple lifestyle changes make a tremendous difference.

Change Gas and Electricity provider

Energy providers offer discounts to new customers to encourage switching. Providers implement this tactic in the knowledge that once this period expires, most people will not go to the trouble of switching again. Yet, if you do switch (and it is easier than you think) you can save up to 20% on your energy bill.

Avoid spending on everyday indulgences.

It’s easy to get carried away with coffee. Most people have a particular taste for coffee. They happily spend money in a café to get their hit rather than a quick expresso at work. But, if you avoid this indulgence and bring your own coffee to work, you can save an average of £2.50 per day.

This compounds to large savings over time. If you work 5 days a week this means you’re spending £12.50 on coffee alone.

Take your own lunch to work

While many are still working from home, some will still spend money on prepared meals and/or eat out for lunch. When time-pressed, you can feel it’s a waste of time making lunches for the week. So you buy lunch instead. Saving time but losing money. This means you’ll usually spend an average of £5 every day you work on lunch alone.

Ditch the brands & shop around

Supermarket brands are often up to 50% cheaper than premium labels and often you’re not compromising on quality. Many times you’re just paying extra for the brand.

Look at your shopping list and see where you can trade down. Aim to substitute up to 20% of the products you buy. Also, shop at different supermarkets – each have different deals for different products.

Scrutinise your entertainment needs

Do you really need both a TV. entertainment package and Netflix? Could you ditch the Netflix account for 3 months then return when they have a more updated schedule? Is the Spotify account an absolute requirement? Remember songs are available on YouTube (if you have a data package with your phone network provider). Examine what’s necessary to make you happy and relax during leisure time.

Travel more efficiently to work

Getting to work can vary per person. Some drive. Some take the bus. Others use the rail. Needless to say, walking or cycling to work represents the most efficient way to travel. This saves public transportation fees as well as fuel fees for car owners. Work out what is most feasible for you.

If you pay £4.20 a day using the bus then maybe you could cycle or walk if work isn’t too far. If you drive, simple changes can help save money. Look at your driving technique for incremental savings gains. Changes like braking less often, using less accelerator and moving up in gear faster reduce fuel consumption. Often this can mean a saving of 25% a year on fuel costs. Then there is always the option of carpooling with a neighbour or work colleague and splitting fuel costs.

Switch car insurance provider

Unfortunately, it’s common in the insurance sector that loyalty is punished rather than being rewarded. Those who do not display insurance switching tendencies can be left with larger premiums. Always price around before you commit or haggle them down from their quoted price. It may also be worth considering, does your car justify fully comprehensive insurance.

Make simple energy-saving switches in the home

Household bills can be a hidden expenditure for most of us. We do not see the immediate ramifications of not turning the lights off, leaving the electric heater on in the background, or sleeping with the TV on. Turn off the lights when you are not using them, get in the habit of only using the heating when you actually need it (your body will adjust). Only wash your clothes on full loads (washing machines are heavy on electricity). Turn appliances off rather than leave them on standby.

If we’re diligent, often more than 20% of an electricity bill can be cut by just being more conscious of the electricity you are using.